Long time, no blog!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
It's been forever since I blogged. The unexpected early arrival of the babies (I was shooting for making it to 37 weeks but the babies came at 34 1/2 instead) turned my life upside down, of course. They were born at 4 lbs 2.3 oz and 4 lbs 0.5 oz, so they were very tiny and obviously premature, but they were "late premature" and so they were in pretty good shape for preemies. No oxygen needed, no feeding tube, they just stayed a week in the hospital (turns out that was somewhat dictated by our insurance company, however; they didn't want to cover more, I learned later on, but I assume the doctors wouldn't have let the babies leave if they were very concerned about it) and spent most of that time in isolettes to keep them warm and protected. Near the end of the week the nurses started weaning them off the heat of the isolettes to see if they could maintain their own body heat, and they could, so they spent the last night in a hospital room with me. I had had a C-section because one baby was transverse and the doctors thought it would be too risky to try for a vaginal delivery, so I was in the hospital an extra day than I would have been otherwise, but I was discharged days before the babies were - yet we were still allowed to stay in a hospital room, free of charge and still getting meal service, while the babies were there. They needed me around for milk, after all. :) So basically I lived at the hospital for a week and didn't set foot off that campus and only got outside the building itself a couple times for a quick walk to try and ease the swelling I ended up with in my legs after surgery.
The babies have done well since then, though one was rather slow to wake up and learn to eat well. We had some trials getting him to eat all the milk he was supposed to. Then when he was 3 weeks old, he developed an inguinal hernia (common in preemies, apparently) and had to have surgery to repair it. Poor little guy, and poor us - the pediatrician told us we needed surgery Thursday, we had a consult with a pediatric urologist Friday, they scheduled surgery for Tuesday, and meanwhile I was having a heart attack every time the baby moaned with discomfort or cried or pooped or anything that might make his hernia worse. It did, in fact, get worse over those days, but not dangerously so. More intestines moved through the hole, but they didn't get strangulated or anything. I just was never quite sure whether he was okay or whether we needed to take him to the ER - our instructions were to watch him over the weekend, and if he fussed more than usual or just "seemed off" we were supposed to take him to the ER. One doctor did say to make sure his skin never turned dark where the hernia was, but otherwise the rest of it was so vague, it completely freaked me out.
Anyways, he's fine now. Though I felt bad after the surgery, because the doctor didn't want his little immature system on pain meds because it wouldn't handle them well, so his discharge instructions for pain were literally to "hug and cuddle" him when he was in pain.
But like I said, everyone is all good now. They have gained lots of weight and though we haven't weighed them officially at the doctor's recently (they go back on the 27th), our unofficial estimates with the bathroom scale at home indicate they're both well over 8 pounds now. Both eat like their mommy and daddy, which is to say they eat a lot, and both are learning to hold their heads up and all that sort of thing. One baby (the hernia baby) may have a leg issue - his femora are disproportionately short and at least one is rather bowed, but that may get better with time. Or we may need to see an orthopedic physician. Either way, it's not life-threatening which is all I care about.
I'm doing well, though I have lost zero baby weight. In fact, I think I gained some weight after I lost the water weight of post-surgery swelling. Too much snacking to try to stay awake during the night feedings or during the day when I'm exhausted, too much indulgence, no time to track calories. Oh well. There's plenty of time when things settle down a bit to make a more concerted effort to lose the weight. I know how to do it now, and really, the only thing I’m missing is the calorie aspect. I’m back to regular exercising. I may still run a bit more slowly than I used to, but whenever I have a day off from work I make sure to go running and I go at least 5 miles. I don’t have time to do anything higher-intensity activity like cycling or jogging or zumba on work days any more (babies!) but I do make sure to walk before work and during my lunch break, so I generally fast-walk at least an hour every day if nothing else. There’s a lot more sitting around all day and being sedentary when you’re holding babies, feeding babies, and pumping milk for babies every 3 hours (and it takes me like 45 minutes to pump myself dry, it’s ridiculous) but I am trying to at least get some exercise every day. I lost tons of muscle mass and strength, it seems, since I couldn’t lift for 6 weeks…but I’m working on reversing that now that I can lift weights again.
So all in all, I’m doing okay and the babies are good. The one problems is that I’m back at work, and it’s an hourlong commute one way, and that means I don’t see my babies as much as I could, and once they start coming with me to daycare in the city where I work, their father won’t hardly get to see them. Plus I hate the idea of them spending 2 hours in carseats every day. Plus, and this is the big thing – I can’t stay awake in the car for that long any more. I barely sleep, and every morning and every evening it’s a huuuuge struggle to stay awake. I have to call my husband or mother, or eat grapes, or chew gum, or crank up the music, or actually slap myself in the face, and it still doesn’t really work. I still drive in something of an exhausted haze bordering on sleep eventually, and it’s scary. I am hoping that when it’s time for the babies to come with me (they start daycare next Monday) this will change just by having other people in the car, particularly people that I would do anything to protect and keep safe. Hopefully that will energize me enough.
Anyways, they’re the cutest, sweetest little babies. Sometimes fussy, sure, and one of them pretty much never smiles and always looks SO serious and SO disappointed in you…but that’s okay. : ) I love them so much, as does my husband, and we are a very happy, if completely exhausted, new family these days. :)
I hope you’ve all been doing well!! Sorry I haven’t been able to keep up with anyone else’s lives at the moment, but I am cheering for you all nonetheless!